March 14 Energy News

March 14, 2018


¶ “What I Learned from 14 Years of Shooting ‘Images from a Warming Planet'” • After spending 14 years taking photos of the effects of climate change, Ashley Cooper, spoke of the Paris Agreement. “Having witnessed the scale of the destruction currently being wreaked around the world at a 1° rise and under, this is too little and too late.” [Sustainable Brands]

Lake Hume, Australia

Science and Technology:

¶ About half of all plants and animals in 35 of the world’s most biodiverse places are at risk of extinction due to climate change, a report claims. The report was published the University of East Anglia, the James Cook University, and the WWF. It projected loss of nearly 80,000 plants and animals in 35 diverse and wildlife-rich areas. [CNN]


¶ In Australia, the Greens proposed mandatory fuel efficiency standards, ending the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2030, and imposing a four-year 17% tax on luxury petrol and diesel cars as part of an electric vehicle policy. They propose that Australia adopt a mandatory fuel efficiency standard of 105 g of CO2 per kilometer by 2022. [The Guardian]

Australian highway (Photo: Southern Stock | Getty Images)

¶ The United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia signed a Memorandum of Understanding that commits the two countries to working together on developing new technologies to reduce carbon emissions. They will share technical knowledge with each other, including information on smart grids, electric vehicles, and carbon capture technology. [CleanTechnica]

¶ An Australian first trial is taking wind farms from passive producers that sell all their output in a slab to more active participants in the energy market. Neoen Australia’s South Australian Hornsdale 2 wind farm carried out a trial that could see wind replace coal, gas, and even pumped hydro in providing energy stability. [The Sydney Morning Herald]

Wind plus storage at Hornsdale (Photo: Tesla)

¶ The UK’s Swindon Borough Council has given the planning green light to Public Power Solutions to build the 50-MW Mannington Depot battery storage project. PPS said it has kicked off discussions with storage developers seeking front-of-meter opportunities to take on the funding and construction of the project. [reNews]

¶ GE Renewable Energy announced the installation of the first GE Haliade 150-6-MW offshore wind turbine at the 396-MW Merkur Offshore Windfarm in Germany, located approximately 35 km north of the island of Borkum, in the North Sea. It will provide enough clean energy to power around 500,000 homes in the region. [Windpower Engineering]

Offshore wind farm

¶ GE Renewable Energy and Fina Enerji signed an agreement to work on eight potential wind projects in Turkey. Together, the wind farms will provide up to 410 MW of power. They will be located in different regions of Turkey. The agreement supports Turkey’s national goal of reaching a capacity of 20 GW of wind power. [North American Windpower]

¶ Transmission system operator 50Hertz Transmission GmbH said it got 53.4% of its power from renewables in 2017, surpassing 50% for the first time. The installed renewable energy capacity in the operator’s area rose to 31 GW last year from about 29 GW in 2016. Its area of distribution is the Northeast of Germany, the former East Germany. [Renewables Now]

Wind farm in the Baltic Sea

¶ The slow-moving small modular reactor market saw some positive activity in recent weeks. Ukraine signed a memorandum of understanding with Holtec International to have Holtec’s SMR-160 nuclear reactors built there. Canada may also develop a design. But one expert predicts the technology would never be commercialized. [Greentech Media]


¶ Arnold Schwarzenegger is steaming mad at oil companies. He plans to do something about their reprehensible, irresponsible behavior that has put billions of people at risk around the world. During an interview with Politico, he said he is personally going to take them to court “for knowingly killing people all over the world.” [CleanTechnica]

Arnold Schwarzenegger

¶ Recently passed legislation in Virginia shifts the renewable energy landscape by finding 5.5 GW of solar and wind energy are in the public interest and expediting the state’s renewable energy project regulatory approval process. It also provides for energy storage. Now, Virginia Gov Ralph Northam signed the 2018 omnibus energy bill into law. [Platts]

¶ The City of Flagstaff and the Hopi Tribe have partnered up to explore development of a 19-MW renewable energy project on land leased from the tribe outside of the city. City officials say the partnership is aimed at helping the city achieve its 100% renewable energy goal for city government operations, with a power purchase agreement. [KAFF News]

Solar farm in Arizona (Purina employee, Wikimedia Commons)

¶ Public Service Company of Oklahoma and Walmart, Inc, have reached a settlement agreement on PSO’s proposed Wind Catcher Energy Connection project in the Oklahoma Panhandle. PSO and Walmart are requesting that the Oklahoma Corporation Commission approve the windpower project under the terms of the agreement. [Windpower Engineering]

¶ The largest community solar power project in the state of New York is now complete, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. It is located in the Sullivan County town of Callicoon. The 2 .7-MW solar array can produce enough power to provide electricity for 350 households and small businesses. It runs on 9,800 individual solar panels. [Albany Times Union]

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